Bhubaneswar, Jul 29:  Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Wednesday urged the Centre to ensure the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the inauguration of the Paradip-Haridaspur rail line project, considering its significance for the development of the eastern region.

In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Pradhan also sought his intervention for starting passenger train services on the line. Noting that the project is in the final stage of completion, the Petroleum and Steel Minister said the 82-km line passing through Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur districts has been “one of the most widely-anticipated railway lines” in Odisha since its sanctioning in 1996.

“This rail line represents the fulfilled aspirations of the people of the region and will be a harbinger of economic prosperity for the region,” Pradhan said. The project was accorded high priority status by the PM and its implementation monitored through the PMO’s PRAGATI project review platform.

“It only goes to show the commitment of Prime Minister Modi towards the development of Odisha and his sensitivity towards the sentiments and aspirations of the people of the state,” Pradhan said. The rail line will provide a strategic advantage to India’s prime steel hub at Kalinganagar and its associated downstream industries, unlocking the massive potential for development in eastern India, the minister said.

“Today, Paradip is India’s largest port by container handling capacity and an important landmark on South Asian and South-East Asian supply chains.

“In the coming years, this rail line will help Paradip not only to be one of the most important energy and goods exchange points in the global value chain, but also become an epicentre of activities driving Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar Bharat vision,” he said.

Source: PTI